Monday, 1 January 2018

Looking forward to 2018.

So after being inspired by Jessica Avey's most recent video over on youtube, 'start your goals today' I thought I would write a post quickly looking back over what we achieved as a family in 2017 and what we intend to work towards in 2018.  I am hoping that actually writing it down on here might make me stick to what I say (here's hoping).

Our 2017.

During the in-between festive days of last Christmas Sam and I sat down and basically decided that something needed to change.  Not in a dramatic sense just that although we both enjoy our teaching careers and are happy as a family of four we just felt really frustrated with the monotony of daily life.  We felt that we were working very hard, spending minimal time with our littles and yet not really reaping the rewards.  By this, we mainly meant financially.  We had bought a lovely house but along with the lovely house came a hefty mortgage and along with the two beautiful children came hefty childcare fees.  All this meant two full time jobs but not a lot of money left over for enjoying life as a family.  We thought about maybe leaving teaching, we both have lots of other ideas and passions that we would love to pursue.  We decided actually that we wanted a little of an adventure for us a family and we weren't ready to give up on our teaching careers just yet.  And that is the point where we started to research teaching internationally.  We spent a lot of time thinking about where in the world we should go and decided on Abu Dhabi.

This one decision obviously changed our lives and kind of turned it upside down.  It took a lot of planning, organisation, money and tears to get us to the land of sand.  Honestly, I cannot believe we are here.  Life here has it's ups and downs but generally it is a really great experience.  It has definitely allowed us to spend more quality time together and it has showed Sam and I that we have the capability to change our lives massively, follow our dreams and survive it! Ha.

So, now it comes to thinking about what we want to achieve in 2018.  I feel like we have big shoes to fill, if that makes sense.  How can we top the changes we made in 2017?

Goals and dreams for 2018 and beyond... 

Goals for me:

1. Continue with my blog -  Writing is something that I love.  It has always been a passion of mine and I spent many years keeping a daily diary.  I wanted to have a blog for so long but it took a lot of confidence for me to actually do it.  Now I am doing it, I want to keep it up.  My mind is literally buzzing with ideas for the content and I am determined to keep it up this year.  Even if it's just for me.

2. Be less of a 'shouty mum' - Mum guilt is such a monster that plagues literally every mama I know.  When I get stressed or anxious I often find that I become much more shouty with my children.  Then I immediately feel guilty about it.  I have been reading lots about mindfulness and I am hoping to try and use that to help me tackle my stress and emotion so that I don't take it out on my children as often.

3.  Self- improvement-  I know that this is something that so many people have as a goal in January but this is entirely necessary for me.  I often need my husband or a friend to help me feel better about myself.  In 2018 I intend to exercise more and go to bed earlier as a starting point for this.  I also hope to learn more about photography and try my hand at calligraphy too!

Goals for us:

1. Our YouTube channel -  We have finally took the plunge and started a YouTube channel.  Our daughter Posey is most definitely the reason behind this decision.  She absolutely loves watching back clips that we have captured of our family.  I am a massive YouTube fan and so is my husband so we thought lets stop think wouldn't it be great if... and actually start it.

2. Savings - We have some big plans for life when we finally return to the UK so we plan on saving hard.  We still want to enjoy life out here in the desert but we have long term goals too (including, hopefully baby no.3).

3. Travel - We want to to take the children to visit some of the other emirates whilst we live in Abu Dhabi.  We also want to take the children on our first family holiday abroad.  As silly as it sounds now that we live in the UAE we haven't been further than Ireland before this.

4.  Healthy living - Meaning healthier food and a sport/ hobby that we do separately that we enjoy.  Sam really enjoys sports so is determined to get back into that more this year.  I am hoping to ignite my enthusiasm for exercise this year.  I really enjoyed yoga when my lovely friend Sally took me along to her class so I am looking for a class out here that I can go to.

Goals for our children: 

1.  For them both to be able to swim - Posey has a weekly swimming lesson at school but we would like her and Lochlann to take private swimming lessons.  We have a pool literally a 2 minute walk away from our house that an instructor can come too so we are going to sort that out for January.

2.  Music- Sam is musical and was offered the opportunity to pick an instrument and have music lessons from a young age.  We both want the same for our children as I don't play any instruments and I wish I did.

That's it.  I would love to know what you goals are for you and your family.
Wish us luck with ours.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year.

Holly x

P.S If you would like to follow our daily Expat adventures then please come and visit our YouTube channel.

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